Posted by Fake Richard Edelman
Friday, November 16, 2007
In the past two months, I've been traveling. As the dollar continues to sink, it's critical that my company shore up our positions in the "new economic powerhouses," i.e. China, Dubai, India, and Russia. So I set out to press the flesh with a few of our current clients there. Here's how I'm going to justify the expense for tax purposes:
1. I met with CEOs. Okay, they're not "classically trained professional managers" but they all still CEOs. Says it right here.
2. Most of them are mulilingual. Take my buddy Lev Leviev. Lev is the "Luxury Jeweler to the Stars," the largest cutter and polisher of diamonds in the world. Anyway... you had to see him. He had a phone to each ear shouting out orders in English, Hebrew and Russian. I don't think he even knew I was there. Bottom line: he's totally comfortable across cultures. What a mensch.
3. They're all enterprising. Look at Sunil Mittal. He runs Bharti Enterprises in New Delhi. Guy's got his fingers in just about everything. Bharti Enterprises is one of India’s leading business groups with interests in telecom, agri business, insurance, even retail. He's got like 6 joint ventures happening simultaneously: Bharti has successfully launched an international venture with EL Rothschild Group owned ELRO Holdings India Ltd., to export fresh agri products exclusively to markets in Europe and USA. Bharti has a joint venture with AXA, world leader in financial protection and wealth management. Bharti recently got into retail with Bharti Retail Pvt. Ltd. and has a joint venture with Wal-Mart for wholesale cash-and-carry operations in India.
For a PR company, is Mattal like hitting the mother load, or what?
4. Most of the folks I met are "philanthropic." Lev does it right: He regularly greases the skids in Israel, Russia, and Africa. He said that he wants to grow his business so that he can give even more money away. Got to love it. He should be so blessed.
5. They're all knee deep at the government trough, i.e. "economic development," if you know what I mean. Mittal recently headed a junket of Indian businesspeople who came to the US to "celebrate the 60th anniversary of India’s independence." Please. Funded in part by the private sector’s leaders... there's another mother load.
6. Best of all, they understand PR. Leviev's got a promotion going on right now "to bring diamond cutting and polishing jobs to Angola and Botswana." Genius. Looks great and at the same time he's lowering his cost of goods.
And my new best friend Mohamed Bin Ali Alabbar, what a riot this guy. Chairman of Emaar Properties, he's like the "Donald Trump of Dubai." You watch; Dubai is gonna be like the next Atlantic City.
To sum up, it was a great trip. All of 'em think PR will buy them "a license to operate particularly in the US and Europe." Life is good.
I've always loved the phrase "classically trained" when applied to business-school graduates, as though their MBA programs took root in the agora instead of in mega universities during the latter half of 20th century America.
And it's "mother LODE" BTW.